Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our First Camping Trip (yes, that says camping)

Back at the end of March Dan and I decided we'd try our hand at camping. We have really good friends, Mel and Dee, who are well-seasoned campers. They have all the equipment and the experience and the same priorities as us (having a good time being number one,) so we decided to give it a shot. We were psyched! And despite the number of times I had people questioning whether or not I was the camping type (I'm not) I was up for the challenge. I figured it wouldn't be all that bad, especially since Mel & Dee's style of camping had electricity and air mattresses. What follows is a recount of our modest little adventure.

I spent countless hours packing from a ridiculously long list of things we would need, things we might need and things we probably wouldn't need but you never know. Dan borrowed his Dad's new Jeep Liberty since neither our Jetta or BMW could accommodate this much packing, two adults, a baby and a dog.

While preparing for the trip we find out that Texas campgrounds are under a Burn Ban which meant no campfire. Dan was really bummed, and really worried. As it should, his whole romantacized version of camping required a campfire. He was also worried because the weather was calling for incredibly beautiful, low 80-degree days but really cold, low 40-degree nights.

The day we were supposed to leave. We planned to leave after work to meet Mel and Dee at an already set-up campsite. It poured rain all day, hard. We decided to leave Friday.

We are overpacked and ready to go. It rained the whole drive down but as soon as we neared Lockhart the sun came out. We arrived at Lockhart State Park, signed in and picked a spot. The place was really pretty. Our tents backed up to a creek. There were walking trails, a golf course and a great park for Sofia to play. The ground was damp but the sun did it's work to dry it out and before long we had ourselves a tent!

We also had electricity and satellite radio. See, Angie can camp! I thought it was funny that the electricity sockets which came out of the ground were backed by a water faucet. I never thought the two went together, but that's just me.

We opened some beers, ate some sandwiches and settled into our new home. Everyone brought their dogs along and we were almost outnumbered! 5 dogs to 5 and a half people. Thanks, Sofia!

Sofia walked around a bit. She had just taken her first steps days before so we were doing a lot of practicing.

Dan tried to feel outdoorsy by pretending to chop some wood.

Baili, Mel's doberman, is a tree hugger and attacked him until he stopped. Well, not really, but it looks like it in the picture, doesn't it?

About this time I came to the conclusion that I would really enjoy camping. It just seemed like a great place to relax, drink some beer and enjoy the company of my friends and family. I also came to the conclusion that camping makes you feel like a homeless person. I already felt dirty and a little embarrassed by my appearance (which never made it on camera) but looking around at everyone else made me feel better about myself. I wasn't the only homeless looking one in the bunch. Right, Dee? haha!!

We sat around for a bit and decided we'd take Sofia to the park. She swung by a beautiful tree and tried to climb up a slide. She also got sniffed out by a couple of cockapoos.

After dinner (Mel heated up some of his homemade yummy gumbo) we got Sofia ready for bed. In anticipation of the cold night I put her in a two pair of socks and a onesie, topped by a thick cotton sleeper pj and a thick fleece sleeper pj. Daddy gave her a bottle and some cuddles and she went straight to sleep.

We retreated around the non-campfire, had a few beers, talked and laughed, and kept ourselves bundled up. Even the dogs. The temperature was definitely dropping.

We finally decided to retreat to our tent. I walked the minor trek up the minor hill to the facilities to make sure my bladder was empty and teeth were brushed and got ready for an interesting night of .... sleep? Turns out it's really hard to sleep when you're freezing your a-- off. Every turn Sofia made woke me and I could hear every sound the wind made outside the tent. Plus I don't think I can emphasize just how freaking cold it was. I think it went down to 34 degrees. And about an hour into my sleep I was really regretting those beers before bed. I had to trek up the hill yet again in the pitch black with a flashlight. We were really worried about Sofia but she was sleeping fairly soundly and each time I checked her she felt warm. As the sun began to rise and she began to fuss we pulled her into our bed and she slept awhile longer on my chest and then Dan's. We did our best to keep each other warm.

Finally, we decided to "wake up" and I use quotes because we were actually awake most of the night! Sofia didn't seem to be doing well, she spent awhile crying which I'm sure the rest of the campsite was just thrilled about. We bundled her up in her stroller and headed up to the bathroom (and their space heaters!) She looked so cute in her hat, even with some tears. Here's my cutie in the morning...

and here's Dan appalled that I was taking pictures at a time like this.

Turns out he was right to be appalled. Sofia ended up having a really high temperature. We realized at that point that this camping trip would be cut short. And to be honest, I don't think I could repeat the previous night!

After packing up we decided to head into town for some quick lunch and a look around town. Lockhart is known for its barbecue so we couldn't leave without trying some. We ended up at Smitty's Market. It was really good! Sofia's fever had gone down and although she wasn't 100% she was in a much better mood and the afternoon sun was warming up the day. We went into town and discovered a festival in the town square and a classic car show.

So, I did it! I went camping. It wasn't the greatest introduction but I want to try it again. Just as long as the temps don't get anywhere near as cold as they did!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Because She's Cute

Just wanted to share the latest in the cuteness which is Sofia!

Here she is. Just chillin'.

Eatin' a little cheese as an appetizer.

Sippin' on a little water. Being cute. Cuz that's the way she rolls.

On the phone
She was expecting a very important phone call. "Oh?" she said when she answered. I don't think anyone was on the other end. She threw the phone shortly after this was taken.

Cruisin' in the Cruisers Box

We finally figured out what to do after we unpack the diapers from the box. The diapers are called Pampers Cruisers and here she is... cruisin'.


no post should be without a photo. here's a favorite of her swinging

I feel a little guilty every once in awhile because I never kept a proper Baby Book of Sofia's first year. Luckily I have this blog and so I sort of use it for that purpose. Not very traditional, but this is a new age.

I also feel guilty every once in awhile because since I don't have a Baby Book I haven't really documented many of Sofia's "firsts." When my nephew, Matthew, was Sofia's age my sister-in-law, Julie, could tell you exactly how many words were in his vocabulary and the first day he said it. While Julie is a bit of a (self-described) neurotic, it sort of made me sad that I didn't have a running list of anything that she did, except walking, maybe. Plus, last time I was at the pediatrician the doctor asked how many words Sofia knew. I drew a blank. I knew she knew stuff but for some reason I couldn't think of anything.

So, all this got me thinking and I've started a list. I can't tell you the first day any of the following occurred but I think that keeps me out of the neurotic category, so maybe that's a good thing. (love you, Julie!)

WORDS These are words she uses often and as far as we can tell, knows what they mean
eye (while pointing to her eye)
Sofia (sounds like "ia")
banana (sounds like "nana")
hello (when the phone rings she puts her fist to her ear. sounds like "oh?") so cute!
hi (that's her standard greeting)
night night (puts her cheek on the ground or nearest object. sounds like "ni ni")
get down (she says this pretty well when she wants off a chair, lap, etc. she also says it while crouching)
thank you
shoe (one of her favorite words)
bye bye (just recently she says this one and it's one of the few she pronounces perfectly)
cute and cool (we must say these words a lot because she repeats them every time we say them. she's never used them on her own, though)

Sign Language

Body Parts she points these out if you ask
tongue (she sticks it out - adorable!)
teeth (she makes like a chomping motion)

Other Things She Says and Does these are things she'll do if you ask
says "shhh" and she puts her finger on her nose, it's really funny. (to me)
quacks when you say duck
woofs when you say doggy
moos when you say cow
ask her for a mad face and she'll wrinkle up her nose and breathe heavy
ask her for happy and she says "ha ha ha"
ask her for sad and she says "boo hoo" (still working on this one)
ask her for silly and she'll take her pacifier out and put it back in the wrong way (one of my faves!)
ask her for happy dance and she stomps her feet as fast as she can
give her a brush and she'll brush her own hair.

Ok, I know she's not a dog! Even though I have her trained to do tricks on command.

I promise, I know she's not a dog!

First Haircuts

Sofia's hair has been growing and it had gotten to a point of uncontrolled frenzy. Nothing worked. Her hair (must be like Daddy's) is stick straight. It would land smack dab in the middle of her eyes. She couldn't see and I couldn't stand her looking like an uncared for child.

alone in the wilderness, hair in my eyes

I tried once (the photo made a past blog entry) to pull it up into one of those cute ponytails on top of her head. But, she thought I was torturing her while putting it in and she managed to pull it out within a matter of minutes, so that didn't work.

"Look how cute my bow is!"

I also used to put in really cute clips to sweep the hair off her face but now she knows they're there and can't wait to take them out and play with them.

"Ha ha! Mom has no idea I'm about to pull this clip out and throw it at the dog!"

So... no clips, no bows. At least not until she can realize for herself just how cute they are. So, I relented and made her a hair appointment with my hairdresser, Julie. Julie had a baby about 2 weeks before I did and said she'd know what to do. And she only charged me 5 bucks, how cool is that? Luckily, Tia Emily was there to document and Daddy showed up too for moral support.




Jake's First Cut

And while we're on the hair topic, I just have to share this with you too. Sofia's little cousin, Jakey, has her beat. He has already had 2 haircuts in his short 6 months on the planet. But that kid was born with a crazy amount of hair on his sweet head! Julie sent us pictures when he had his first cut and they are so adorable. He was just 4 months, 1 week and 1 day old when these were taken.

yeah, he's cute, but that hair...

I sort of like the mohawk look

oh my gosh! have you seen a cuter baby?

Easter 2009

This Easter was interesting. Our little family never made it to Mass so that was sort of weird. Dan worked an overnight shift at LBJ Hospital's ER which brings him home at 7:30 am on Sunday. And Sofia's ears decided on another infection which kept her (and me) up most of the night Saturday. We were all pretty wiped out on Sunday but made it over to Grandma and Grandpa's for Easter lunch and for Sofia's second Easter celebration.

Last year we celebrated at Papi's house. Last year she was much smaller and slept a lot more. Last year I didn't get her an Easter basket.

our little Easter bunny

This year we celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa and our family friend, Rosemary. This year she had just gotten her first haircut and is walking. This year I got her an Easter basket.

And for those of us who know how important the Easter dress is, here's Sofia modeling it.

The front. Look at that happy smile!

The back.

Notice the adorable white patent mary jane's. An Easter gift from Tia Emily & Uncle Jeff. They squeak (on purpose) with each step she takes. It is pretty hilarious. She loves the sound they make and I swear she walks more when they're on. I think she likes the idea that she's making something happen. And I like how I can hear how far away she's getting from me or if she's stopped squeaking I can go see what she's getting herself into. And even better, they're adorable! Go check them out... Wee Squeak Shoes

Anyway, I somehow managed to forget to take a pic of her Easter baskets (two, one from Grandma & Grandpa and one from us.) And even stranger, Grandma didn't take a picture of them either. But she did get a shot of Sofia playing with her new magnetic drawing table. It was a real hit. Good job, Easter Bunny!

I hope you all had a blessed Easter. God bless! Love, the Coussirats

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


As I mentioned earlier we took pictures of Sofia in the Texas Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes earlier this month. Here are a few of my favorite shots that Grandma took.

blowing kisses

This is my favorite!

Check out those scrumptious arm rolls!

Thumbs up, Mama!